Blue Mountains and Religious Pilgrims
Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
47Trip End Jul 29, 2008
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Our first plan after arriving in Sydney was to leave it! We wanted to see the Blue Mountains, so called because of the eucalyptus oil that comes off the forested mountains emitting a blue haze over the area
The trail itself that lead down into the valley bottom was quite beautiful and interesting. We took over 800 winding stairs down into the valley bottom where we then twisted among creeks, waterfalls and beautiful forest until reaching an old and very steep cable car which was a great ride back up. We later on explored various other regions of the blue mountain cliff near Echo Point and beyond which was all equally beautiful. In search of more though, we ventured out the next day into Blue Mountain National Park to hike the Grand Canyon trail which was interesting and beautiful as it snaked into valleys, below overhangs, across streams and out to a lookout across the valley
We headed back to Sydney that night, ready to continue exploring this beautiful area! We started our day with a very cool hike around the North Head, near to where Ryan lives. This brought us across stunning Manly Beach to the Quay, around Manley Harbour, into Sydney Harbour National Park and finally out to Spit Road Bridge that leads into the City. On our way, we met a fellow traveler from Spain and enjoyed sharing that long walk with him.
The next day we headed back into Sydney to explore. We got no further than Manly beach before we were engulfed by a sea of pilgrims. Intent not to look like outsiders, Nik promptly found an ‘I heart Jesus’ shirt and proudly displayed this to all passing pilgrims to ensure they knew we were in on this party too. We had a great day – we went back to the Opera House and had a tour of the inside which was pretty fascinating. They spoke of how the current design by Jørn Utzon was initially cut from the submitted designs, but was later reconsidered and finally selected in 1957. The building was not completed until 1973 though with some major structural difficulties along the way
We hopped a bus and headed to famous Bondi Beach after. This beach is beautiful – a long and lovely white crescent of beach to enjoy! South of the beach is a cool rocky cliff with a walking route along it that we set off on to explore. It was scenic and a bit rugged despite being well travelled. One thing we noticed on this trail as well as many others in Sydney is that each trail has a small ‘adult gym’ built into it, usually with a pull up bar, a tricep dip, a place for sit-ups, calf raises and anything else you might care to do. We felt this contributed to the disproportionate amount of 6-packs we saw everywhere!! It was quite amazing! We continued along this pathway enjoying the long, slow sunset until we arrived to Coogee for a pint before meeting some friends we had met in South America. We had met up with them on our first time in Sydney as well to give them a beautiful bowl we had got them in Otavalo, Ecuador (they loved bowls!) and were happy to be able to see them again at their home this time. We had a really great visit with them again that night!
Ryan arrived back that night and we couldn’t wait to share our last days in Sydney with him
We were sad to leave our friends and, ultimately, our retirement but we had a few good parties left before we had to face that reality plus countless memories to get us through those difficult days we would surely face as we left retirement.